That God may be Praised

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Just a quick post on a very happy day last week.  Here I am with my friend Kathy in the back halls of the Manahan Orthopedic Center at Grace College and Theological Seminary, ready to receive my Master’s Degree in Ministry Studies and Women’s Leadership Studies.  What an emotional weekend, looking back on about all I have learned and the measure of grace given to me by God to reach this point.

While back in the halls lined up for the processional we met Alex, a graduate who hadn’t been present the previous day for rehearsal because he had been attending his wife’s graduation from Columbus State in Columbus, Ohio.

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Ok, here is just a little something funny, since four graduates in a row were originally from Ohio, and two of us had received our undergraduate degrees from Ohio State.  O-H-I-O. Buckeyes do this wherever we meet. (Ha-You’ll have to read my post about the buckeyes from January 7, 2015).

Back to my topic:  Alex told me that there was a stark contrast between his wife’s graduation address and the one we would hear on our own graduation day.  You see, his wife’s graduation speaker had been Ohio State’s president, Dr Michael Drake.  I am certain Dr. Drake is both a very learned man and worthy speaker.  But as Alex explained, his message lay in stark contrast to what we have been taught through the Scriptures.  Drake’s message to the graduates of Columbus State had been a charge to the graduates to go out and use the skills they had attained to change the world. He had told them that change was other shoulders, and only through their contribution would the world become all that it could.

The Christian world view is different.  We believe that it is only by Christ working through us that real change can occur.  Change is not up to us doing, but rather it is up to us yielding to the work of Christ in our lives.  We seek not our own accomplishments, but furtherance of the name of Jesus.  Listen to two verses I studied with the ladies in my Sunday school class the very next day:  “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”  1 Peter 4:10-11.

It’s amazing how God teaches us and reminds us that our work here on earth is not about self-achievement.  It is about reaching the nations with His love and His glory.  It is indeed a different world view from that of the secular world, and I daresay a different message even from many religious organizations.  Yield to God and make Him known. I must become less and He must become more (John 3:30).  And the reason? That God may be praised.